By BRETT MARSHALL
CIMARRON — When you're from southwest Kansas, the word twister usually doesn't mean anything good.
Unless, of course, if you're a wrestler and in particular John O'Shaugnessy of Cimarron.
At the Hi-Plains League Classic on Thursday, the 160-pound Bluejay senior, pulled off a major upset in his weight class when he pinned Hugoton's Cody Hill using a new move he learned in the past two weeks from his coach, Lance Walker, who found the move on the Internet. The pin came in the second period of what proved to be a deciding match in the weight class.
With only those two and Holcomb's Levi Koehn competing in that weight class, Shaughnessy had already lost a heartbreaker, 9-8, to Koehn in his first round match. Koehn would suffer a hamstring pull and Longhorn coach Ryan Kromer opted to retire him for the match against Hill, leaving all three wrestlers with a win and a loss, but bonus and place points, Shaughnessy was declared the winner and Hill second.
Hugoton's overall depth paved the way for a repeat as league champions in the team battle, winning with 182 points. Cimarron was a distant runner-up with 104. Lakin, with just six wrestlers, garnered four individual weight titles and one runner-up as the Broncs were third with 89 points.
For Shaughnessy, though, the victory over Hill was something to be savored in what was the last time the two will meet.
"I've not beaten him before and it is the last time I'll wrestle him," Shaughnessy said. Hugoton is Class 4A and Cimarron Class 3A and will be in different regionals in another week. "(The Twister) is kind of a last-ditch move, when nothing else works."
Shaughnessy said the move came from when he was on top of Hill and made a move opposite of what Hill would have been expecting.
"It was my only shot," Shaughnessy said. "He's just been better than me and I couldn't have won any other way."
Hill had already won twice this year against Shaughnessy with a pin at the Ulysses Invitational and a 7-3 decision at the Gas Capitol Classic in Hugoton.
"I was on top and was able to put him in a headlock before I made the move," Shaughnessy said. "He's been the best wrestler so I guess this is one of the best wins I've had and it's good to know I don't have to wrestle him again."
Lakin took advantage with a terrific performance as the Broncs went home with four individual winners and one runner-up.
"I'm pleased because the kids wrestled hard and the past two weeks they've really busted it to get in shape," Lakin coach Larron Hurst said. "They are a persistent bunch and have overcome some adversity, but all in all this was a pretty good day."
Lakin's four wins came from Trevor Kennedy (119), Dalton Davis (130), David Baca (145) and Taylor Conrady (103).
"It went good today," said Davis, ranked No. 3 in Class 3-2-1A. "I thought I'd have a good day and I just try and go out there and be aggressive and more explosive. I've got what I've got and I feel if I wrestle well, then there's not a lot to stop me."
Davis, who banged up his left shoulder during the Rocky Welton Invitational two weeks ago, said he was getting stronger and that he should be at full speed for next week's regional tournament at Hoisington.
"I'm looking forward to it and I just try not to worry," Davis said. "I try to take it one match at a time and leave it all on the mat."
Wichita County's Collin Wittig captured the 152-pound division when he won a hard-fought battle with Sublette's Royce Williams, whom he pinned twice before the final match Thursday.
"I used a cross-face cradle, one of my favorite moves, where I just go across the face with my arm, then try to hook his leg and turn him," Wittig said. "It's the first time I've won something like this so it feels great."
Hugoton's team victory produced five individual titles, but Eagles coach Brent Mahan was somewhat disappointed. His team will wrestle in Pratt for regionals.
"Realistically, I thought we might get as many as eight, but perhaps I'm a little greedy," Mahan said. "We're deeper than most teams in the league and that really helps, but the kids wrestled hard and we're just hoping that we will be prepared for regionals next week. It will be really tough there."
One of the winners for the Eagles was senior David Hawk, a recent football signee at Garden City Community College. Hawk, who wrestles at the 189 weight class, was the master of the pin Thursday night, including one with just 38 seconds left in the first period against runner-up Dayton Crist of Holcomb.
"It's just the third or fourth tournament where I've made weight at 189," Hawk said. "I'm excited for regionals and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the top wrestlers there."
Hawk grew up in Hugoton, but moved to Liberal where he attended high school his freshman through junior years before moving back to Hugoton for his senior year. He was an offensive and defensive lineman for the Eagles football team was named to The Telegram's All-Area first team last fall.
"It's been a great year," Hawk said. "Most of the guys I grew up with, so I'm familiar with them and I've got a lot of great friends."
For Sublette's Chris Villanueva, another GCCC football signee, he is pointing to the Hoisington regional in hopes of becoming the first Larks wrestler to qualify for the state since the school began the program five years ago. Villanueva won the 285-pound class.
"I'm not satisfied with just winning here," Villanueva said. "We've brought home a (third) plaque this year and I'd like to bring home a medal to the school. I've gotten a lot better this year."
Villanueva said wrestling was the most physically demanding sport in which he had participated.
"It's a lot of cardio, speed and quickness," he said. "You combine all of those and you can't be one dimensional in your approach to the sport. I try to use a little bit of everything to be as complete a wrestler as I can."
Class 3-2-1A (Hoisington) and Class 4A (Pratt) regionals will be on Feb. 19-20. State tournaments will be the following weekend of Feb. 26-27 with 3-2-1A at Hays and 4A at Salina.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.